Apple has been a purveyor of phenomenons such as the multi-touch display, bundled data plans, FaceTime and now Touch ID. The newly introduced iPhone 5S includes the latter – a sensor embedded into the home button that unlocks the device by scanning the user’s fingerprint, and also supports one-click iTunes purchases. The fingerprint is stored on the device, never backed up to the cloud and never shared with apps from third parties, ensuring security for each user.
Knowing all this, will Apple incorporate payment processing in the future? For one thing, they won’t incorporate NFC anytime soon:
On why the iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC, Phil Schiller (Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Inc.) told AllThingsD, “It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem” and “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.” Schiller has every right to call NFC a nascent feature that has yet to have a ubiquitous presence — just ask Google how its Google Wallet program is doing. (Hint: Not as well as Google had hoped.)
But perhaps the mobile payment technology we’re expecting (mobile wallet) isn’t what we’ll be presented with in iOS 8. According to experts on mobile payments technology, Apple is working on technology that would let your phone talk to the cash register while it is still in your pocket, a sort of in-store communication architecture. But first we need reliability, then if banks and financial services want to accelerate their mobile rollouts and invest in the equipment, everyone will follow suit.